The best songs of 2021

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Clockwise from left: MUNA (Screen capture: YouTube), Baby Keem (Photo: Derek White / WireImage / Getty), Keshi (Screen capture: YouTube), Megan Thee Stallion (Screen capture: YouTube)

Clockwise from left: MUNA (Screen capture: YouTube), Baby Keem (Photo: Derek White / WireImage / Getty), Keshi (Screen capture: YouTube), Megan Thee Stallion (Screen capture: YouTube)
Graphic: Natalie Peeples

The songs are miraculous things. These little slices of music, which usually only last a few minutes, can completely overtake us, change our moods, realign our outlook, or even trigger an emotional catharsis we didn’t even know we needed. Okay, most of them don’t do anything like that, it’s true, but that’s why those with such powerful results are all the more touching.

2021 has found our likes in individual songs all over the map, perhaps to better reflect our tumultuous relationship with the outside world, which goes from alluring to scary so abruptly these days that we sometimes check to see if we have any cords. rubber bands attached to our body. A few caveats: All the artists who have already made our List of the best albums of 2021 were disqualified from inclusion here, in order to showcase the breadth and reach of the musicians who made such fantastic music last year. (Sorry, mini-masterpieces like “Days Like These” by Low and “Kill Me” by Indigo De Souza.)

Also, there was no double dip: no one appears on this list twice, although, like The Foxies or Megan Thee Stallion, there were good reasons to nominate them for more than one track. . There is a lot of excellence to be done, and a few deserving names would not have appeared if we had simply chosen the songs that everyone already knows and loves. I hope it is a chance for you to discover a lead which escaped your attention during the last year; if nothing else, consider it an opportunity to hear some highlights in genres that you can normally avoid. Yes, that includes death metal. This shit slams.

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